After a 27 December 2006 announcement by Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) proposed to list the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the evaluation process continues. However, even though the Bush Administration has considered listing the polar bear under ESA, it does not intend to address the cause of habitat loss. Furthermore, the FWS may not consider identifying critical habitat for protection. Rosa Meehan, head of the Service's marine mammal division in Alaska, said "should a decision be made to list ... we will look at direct actions that could help polar bears. Carbon is a broader question that will play out on a bigger field." While Fish and Wildlife sort through data, several members of Congress have circulated a Dear Colleague letter requesting that wildlife be included in legislation responding to climate change.

 


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